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With no pre-conceived expectations heading into the Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally, Fusion Motorsport was thrilled to finish the event with the WRX STi in one piece and with a reasonable points haul in tow.

The event, which doubled as Round 1 of the South Australian Rally Championship (SARC), was held in the Willunga and Southern Vale areas last weekend and was driver Mitchell Hall’s first ever tarmac rally.

“I would have to admit that heading in to this event I really had no idea what to expect. All I knew is that it would be very fast,” laughed the 23-year-old Adelaide driver.

However, the combination of a using a gravel set up with road tyres and a lack of tarmac experience from both Hall and his Tweed (NSW) based co-driver Janah Mclean, certainly did not show. Right from the first stage of the event the pair were confident and focussed and were achieving multiple top five stage times. It was clear that the team had found a comfortable pace which, if maintained, would see them finish in the top five outright.

“We had an absolute blast on those roads,” said Mclean. “We knew heading into the day that we had good notes and confidence in our respective tasks, and having that attitude going into an event is absolutely crucial when you want to do well”.

And the rally did go well until the first run of the Crows Nest stage when the car started missing.

“When I realised we were having mechanical issues and had lost all performance I thought it was over, however our service crew took over, not with spanners, but with some very effective words and we decided to keep going and finish the event”.

Miraculously, about 1.5km from the end of the second pass through the Hindmarsh stage, the problem seemed to disappear. This restored faith in the car and prepared the team for a final attack on the final stage of the day where Hall set a fourth fastest stage time.

"Obviously we were a little disappointed to have the issues at all, however we were pleased that we were at least able to finish the event and then set a competitive time on the final pass of Crows Nest,” Hall said.

The team now turns it's attention to Round 2 of the SARC, the gravel based and notoriously fast, Robertstown Walky 100 where they hope to again secure a good points haul and work their way up the Championship ladder.

Fusion Motorsport would like to give special thanks to Hindmarsh Plumbing who have renewed their support for 2009. We look forward to an exciting and rewarding year!

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